An empirical study exploring the determinants of stress among medical healthcare professionals
Background: Medical profession is considered as one of the stressful professions. Work related stress level among the general working population is around 18% while the stress level among the healthcare practitioners is around 28%. Multiple stressors contribute to the stress of doctors resulting in negative consequences.
Objective: The objective of the current study was to determine, categorize and to rank the existing stressors according to their significance for medical healthcare professionals in Pakistan.
Method: A self-administered questionnaire was used to collect data from 327 doctors. 47.2% were males while 52.8% were females. A structured questionnaire was developed and convenience sampling technique was applied to collect the data from the different positions of healthcare professionals. Exploratory factor analysis (EFA) was performed to categorize and to analyse the underlying structure of stressors. Finally, the stressors were ranked according to their significance.
Results: Appropriateness of factor model was judged through Kaiser, Meyer and Olkin (KMO) index which was 0.905, and by Bartlett’s Test of Sphericity which resulted significant (Approx. Chi- Square= 1111.529, Df =136, Sig.=0.000). Seventeen stressors were converted into four categories by factor analysis and were supported by both scree plot and eigen values. The variance explained by the first, second, third and fourth component was 20.89%, 19.09%, 16.33%, and 11.72% respectively. The 4 components cumulatively explained 68.03% of the total variability in the data, hence supported the extraction of 4 components.
Conclusion: There are number of factors which enhance the stress of healthcare professionals. In Pakistan, the major stressor of medical healthcare professionals is “career & reward prospects” followed by “workplace environmental stressor”. “Job demand & performance stressor’’ ranks third among the list of stressors and “interpersonal stressor’’ ranks fourth according to significance for healthcare professionals.
Keywords: Stress, stressors, medical healthcare professionals, Pakistan.
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